30 April 2010

Buy This: Melissa Etheridge - Fearless Love

One of my favorite musicians, Melissa Etheridge, has seemingly been everywhere in the past week. I spotted her on Dancing With the Stars, Good Morning America, and loved her sincere interview on The View this morning. Her new single, "Fearless Love", is one of her best songs to date in my opinion and now her entire new album is available for only $3.99 on Amazon.com. I don't mean to sound like a commercial but that's a ridiculous price for such excellent material, especially considering that each song individually is 0.99 so you'd be a fool to only buy one.

I'll give you an example of how much a Melissa Etheridge record can mean:

One day in the summer of 2007 I was incredibly depressed. There was a liquor store within walking distance from my house and I would occassionally stroll over and purchase a cheap bottle of wine to drink alone in my room. I had just moved home from West Virginia and was still pining over a lost love. I felt more alone and lost than I ever have in my life. Next to the liquor store was a ubiquitous Drug Fair that sold a stack of compact discs next to the register. Occasionally I'd peruse the racks but never actually make a purchase. On this particular day I was really hitting rock bottom and needed something to take my mind off the trouble I was going through. This was actually my first big breakup and as anyone who has been there knows - that is probably the worst feeling on earth.

I spotted the cover of Melissa Etheridge's Breakdown instantly with a woman (her?) laying in a field wearing something that looked like a Mexican poncho. The title and photograph combined made me feel like there would be songs on this album that I could relate to in that moment.

I was completely right.

Those songs helped me through that entire summer and has remained one of my all time favorite albums to this day. This same feeling happenend again when I got Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled. I couldn't stop listening to it and her voice took me to another place. Songs like "Come to My Window", "Like the Way I Do" and my personal favorite "I'm the Only One" are iconic. And it's not just her songwriting that is soul shaking, it's the magnitude of her voice. In her covers of Tom Petty's "Refugee" and Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart", she finds something within the songs that I don't notice in their originals - there's a genuine ache in the arrangements that's really stirring.

What Melissa Etheridge is capable of doing with her voice alone, many musicians aren't able to accomplish with an entire band.

Here's proof:

I highly suggest you purchase her new album and while you're there, grab a couple old ones too and have a good shout (or cry - whatever you're in the mood for).

Fearless Love Tracklist:
(samples of every song are available on Amazon)

1. Fearless Love
2. The Wanting Of You
3. Company
4. Miss California
5. Drag Me Away
6. Indiana
7. Nervous
8. Heaven On Earth
9. We Are The Ones
10. Only Love
11. To Be Loved
12. Gently We Row

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have been a devoted Melissa Etheridge fan for more than 20 years and like you, A.D., her albums "Breakdown" and "Skin" helped me survive a couple of rough patches in my life. But these past 4 years, I have found that Melissa's outspoken political beliefs and her expression of those beliefs are seriously at odds with my own more conservative views and I have been skipping over the songs that she has recorded that seem to be directed at shaping the mind set of the consumer. That fact combined with her recent "mid-life crisis" and likely infidelity have turned me off to Melissa and her music completely. The songs from that album that I have listened to have not changed my distancing from her music, either. She has always amazed me in how she makes each song sound different by using dynamic beats, chord combinations, and styles to keep her sound so fresh and clean.....but now, it almost sounds like she is writing on "auto-pilot." I feel like the sound is stale and un-inspired. I am VERY disappointed in Melissa and her choices, musically and personnally. A former fan